How Microsoft’s Analytics Is Making A Difference In The 2014 Indian Elections With Data Visualizations

A look at how Microsoft is using analytics to provide data visualizations about Lok Sabha Elections and the alliance with CNN-IBN

social media delhi elections

social media delhi elections

The 16th Lok Sabha Elections are currently mid way. We have already seen how Facebook, Google and Twitter are supporting these elections by extending their platform in exciting ways.

Three of our earlier articles provided a snapshot of the interesting work being carried out by the likes of Google, Twitter and Facebook.

1. How Facebook, Google, Twitter Are Making A Difference In 16th Lok Sabha Elections 2014 (link).

2. Google’s Know Your Candidate Tool, Twitter’s Discover Page For Indian Politicians & Round Two Of Facebook Live Talks (link).

3. Facebook Adds ‘I’m A Voter’ Button, YouTube Launches India Elections 2014 Page (link).

Now the tech giant Microsoft has joined the race in two very interesting ways – Parliament Elections with Bing and providing the same analytics to Network18.

Parliament Elections with Bing

Parliament Elections is a web app from Microsoft which gives an extensive preview of the ongoing elections. The web app has an intuitive Indian map which is giving all the required details of the elections conducted along with party and constituency details under the category Elections. What looks simple at the moment actually has a lot of number crunching at the back end.

Elections category is tracking results of general elections in the country from the year 1951 to 2009. One can filter results based on state, year and constituency. I was interested to find out the results of 2009 elections as I could relate to the political scenario of the country.

You can either select a party and find out the results or select a state and see the results. For example the below map was generated when I selected Congress and BJP when clearly Congress was on the driving seat.

Microsoft_Bing_Parliament_Elections_App

If you further click open any of the circles then you are popped with another round of extensive details. I clicked on A&N Islands and the details show that Bishnu Pada Ray of BJP won by 1.8% (2,990 votes) against Congress candidate. Besides you also get to know the list of candidates who fought the elections, about their performance and also how have the parties performed over the years in that particular constituency. The below screen grab provides a quick look at how Congress dominated from 1967 in A&N Islands till BJP started competing aggressively from 1996.

Bing_elections_app

Another exciting feature is finding out the schedule for the ongoing election of 2014. The map pulls out data based on states and on polling days. On clicking the polling day, 24th April the map lists out the 117 constituencies where elections will occur. You also get to see the number of states and their respective constituencies which will go for elections. The below screen grab gives you a quick look of the polling schedule for 24th April, 2014.

Bing_Eections_Schedule_App

Anantnag in Jammu Kashmir will witness elections and on further clicking, I can know the details of the candidates and the past elections results too.

Network18 integrates the Microsoft election analytics

The above set of analytics is also being used by Network18. Both the initiatives are a part of the CNN-IBN – Microsoft Election Analytics Centre which has been created to power Network18’s television and online platforms with election data and analyses.

This will enable CNN-IBN and IBN7 viewers to find, search and engage with election data through an ‘Indian Election’ app, and online platforms such as IBNLive.com, Firstpost.com, and others. The analysis will be powered by data visualization by a Microsoft partner, Gramener – a data visualization company.

We have seen a similar effort by Microsoft’s competitor Google in its Election Hub feature. Know Your Candidate is also an interactive effort that gets you details of the politicians who are standing for this election.

Nevertheless, the effort from the tech and social networking companies just goes out to prove the seriousness for the 16th Lok Sabha elections that has embraced social media and data visualizations for the first time.